Zoom Tips

Zoom Best Practices

Zoom is powerful communication tool. To help you and your students get the best experience using it, we've assembled these tips.

When starting or joining a Zoom meeting

  • Always open the Participants and Chat windows immediately. You will want to know who is in the meeting with you, and chat is often used to resolve audio issues. This is also important because the waiting room is turned on automatically for all meetings and this is how you let invitees into your meeting.
  • Check your Mute status! This is the number one audio problem. (lower left corner of your Zoom window)
  • Check the ^ next to Mute/UnMute on your controls at the bottom of the zoom meeting and make sure you're set to the right audio source, and use the test on that menu to establish your volume levels.

When hosting a Zoom meeting

  • Always open the Participants and Chat windows immediately! Much of meeting management happens in these windows.
  • Allow invitees into the meeting from the waiting room
  • Keep an eye on the participants window for people's mute settings, "raised hands", etc.
  • You can use the polling mechanism to do formal polls, but you can also use the nonverbal signals in the participants window to ask yes/no questions.
  • At the bottom of the participants window note the "More" button, here you can set very useful crowd management rules, including preventing new folks from connecting to your meeting, as well as who can unmute themselves.
  • Similarly, at the bottom of the Chat window there is an ellipsis button. You can use that to set rules for who can chat to whom. 
  • Check out the security button on the bottom of your new Zoom window. This allows you to adjust security on the fly with your existing Zoom meeting. From here you can mute all participants, lock the meeting, turn off screen sharing and turn off the ability for people to rename themselves.
  • Check the ^ next to Share Screen to set the rules for sharing screens. Take into consideration the maturity level of your participants as you set these settings.

When Sharing a Screen

  • If at all possible, only share the actual window of interest, instead of your whole desktop. This saves bandwidth, and keeps focus on just what you are demonstrating.
  • Nota Bene: One of the Share Screen options is a Whiteboard. It is quite limited, but functional.
  • If you have a second webcam, you could use it as a document camera, look under the "advanced" tab on the sharing source selection screen.
  • Alternatively, you could join the zoom session from an additional smartphone, then use it's camera as a document camera.
  • When you are sharing, your meeting controls go to the top of your screen, and the window you are sharing gets a green border. This can be jarring if you don't know to expect it.
  • To stop sharing, you use the red "Stop Share" button on those controls at the top of your screen.
  • A shared window can be resized and moved, but will only share while it is on the same desktop/monitor as when it started. If you move it to another monitor, you may have to stop sharing and reshare the window in it's new location
  • In those screentop controls, there is a control to "Pause Share"
  • There is also a control for "Annotate" this opens a set of annotation tools that let you mark up your shared screen in various ways. This annotation is also available to participants, unless you go under the "More..." menu and Disable Attendee Annotation.

Zoombombing

"Zoombombing" is an exciting new trend in online harrassment. The "Zoombomber", or "Punk" tries to disrupt a Zoom meeting by putting offensive content in their real or virtual background, making offensive statements or posting offensive content in the chat, sharing offensive content via the "share screen" tool, or other disruptive behaviors.

Preventing Zoombombing

Here are some measures you can take to prevent zoombombing. You will want to tailor your practices to your audience and communication style.

  • All meetings at SPSCC have been set to use the "Waiting Room" feature. The host will have to admit all participants to the meeting.
  • "Lock" your meeting when all legitimate participants are present. (meeting lock is under the "More" menu in the participants window)
  • Set the Chat permission to "Host Only" (under the ellipsis in the chat window)
  • Set the Sharing permissions to "Only Host" (under the ^ by the Share Screen control, then Advanced Sharing Options)
  • When sharing the screen, Disable Attendee Annotation (under the More control at the top of the screen)
  • You can set participants to "Mute on Entry" under the "More" menu in the participants window
  • You can prevent participants from unmuting themselves in the same place. (You can use a "raised hand" protocol to unmute them for questions.)
  • You can prevent participants from renaming themselves in the same menu.

If You are Zoombombed

  • Mute any participant by pointing at their name in the participants window and choosing Mute
  • Prevent participants from unmuting under the "More" menu in the participants windows
  • Put participants "On Hold" or remove from the meeting them altogether pointing at their name in the particpants meeting. (under the "More" button that pops up)
  • Report it to IT.